conceptualizing a new garden
I'm new to the idea of potager gardening, although I have been a perennial flower gardener for about 10 years. I need inspiration and reality checks. My backyard gets full afternoon sun. The existing flower beds surround a small patch of lawn. [I like a small bit of lush lawn in my garden plans]. My soil is beautiful because I have added three years of leaf mold, coffee grounds, grass clippings, and composted horse bedding. I don't use any chemicals on my gardens [with the exception of Round Up for Poison Ivy]. I may expand the beds as my potager develops.
Initially, my potager will fit into the L-shape made by a privacy fence and my garage. The length of the legs of the L will be 25' and 20' and the width will be 6'-10' (I'm not one for straight edges).
So far, I'm thinking about growing tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatillos, and squash on trellises along my fence and garage. I think that I will grow beans and peas on teepees throughout the border. I may also add some potted blueberry bushes (my soil is too alkaline to amend well). I am thinking about filling in the border with herbs, peppers, shallots, carrots, and cantloupe. I want to tuck in some annuals (marigolds and nasturtiums), monarda, and daylillies. I have a feeling that I am planning too much for the space. The L will probably become a triangle and my other flower border will be supplemented with produce.
What do I need to do now to prepare for next year? What 'must have' fruits, veggies, or herbs should I also include in my garden? Now that you have experience with potager gardens, what would you do differently than what you did as a newbie? I need advice.
I would also LOVE to see pictures of pretty plant combinations and architectural features in your gardens.
Thanks for your help and wisdom.